A global confectionery giant has confirmed that it is recalling some of its most popular chocolate products, due to potential presence of bacteria - citing the risk of Salmonella. The products affected have a ‘best-before’ date of either 6 May 2018 or 13 May 2018. Consumers are being warned not to eat the confectionery due to fears they may carry the potentially deadly bacteria. Apparently through their routine testing programme this issue was highlighted that detected the potential presence of salmonella from the ingredients used to make the chocolate.
Salmonella, the name of a group of bacteria, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic diseases. Salmonella is killed by cooking and pasteurisation.
Rapid developments in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology mean that WGS (whole genome sequencing) is now a real life application to aid with real world problems in the food industry like this. This scientific technique can aid the food industry from source tracking of bacterial contaminants like Salmonella to the identification of spoilage communities.
Any laboratory process should have some sort of quality control checks in place. Increasingly, this is formalised via accreditation to a recognised international standard, typically ISO 17025. It is widely acknowledged that the best mechanism for demonstrating competence is via the use of an external quality control, for example, one that is generated outside the laboratory. Usually this is interpreted to mean taking part in a Proficiency Testing (PT) scheme, generally provided by a professional PT provider such as Fapas.